Today I was in my first ever poetry slam. I was really ready to start doing them three years ago when Mr. Kay first told me that I should. I was really really nervous though, so nervous that I just kept saying no even though he would keep on asking me to do them whenever they would come up, which is usually several times a month. One time I was actually going to but then we got there late and I missed the time to sign up so I did not get to go. From then on I just decided for myself that I didn't want to do it. Then in the end of Sophomore year and Junior year I really wanted to be in a slam finally but I kept making up excuses for myself at the last minute. I am really a lot more self conscious then people think I am. Not about everything, but about a lot of things, particularly preforming. It is strange because I don't get nervous if I am talking with someone or having a conversation even with a large group of people, but when it is a lot of people I don't know and they are required to listen to me, and I am expected to make it worth their time, it makes me really nervous. I can read signs in a conversation, tell when things aren't going well and change the topic. If I wrote a poem I can only tell by facial expression and some minor body language, and though I can change my tone or a few words, I can't really just stop mid poem and "change the topic."
So yesterday I finally decided that I needed to stop putting it off, and that if I wasn't in a slam by the time I graduated, I would have wasted a big opportunity to work on this fear of mine. So I slammed today and actually I did really well. I was really nervous and my hand started to shake a little, but it always does that and Mr. Kay says as long as it doesn't come across in my voice or limit my actions it's ok. He said it can be my signature... we'll see about that. Everyone seemed to like my piece, there was a lot of "oohhhhs" and "DAYUM!s" from people. In the end I got three tens and one nine point nine and one nine point seven. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be for the past... three years. The hardest part was waiting till it was my turn because that made me nervous, but once I started my piece and I saw Mr. Kay and Mr. Greg and Ms. Minor and my whole team smiling and waiting for me to talk I felt ready finally. Then it just felt natural after that. I really wish I would have done this three years ago, it was really stupid on my part, I missed out on a lot.